Corona Criminal Defense Lawyer
Criminal law verdicts can change a life in a moment. If you have been accused of a criminal offense, give our Corona criminal defense attorney a call. The Law Offices of Graham D. Donath can help you with your case. Our criminal defense lawyers can represent you aggressively when you need it most.
Common Case Questions:
Should I Hire a Public Defender or a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Corona?
Someone who is trying to escape criminal charges generally has two choices: a public defender or a criminal defense lawyer. One of the major benefits of having a public defender is that the state pays for him or her, so you do not owe as many legal expenses. Public defenders also work extensively with prosecutors and may have relationships with them which could help you get a plea bargain. However, public defenders are generally overworked and underpaid. High workload and little pay could lead to less motivation that may hurt your case. Because of their heavy caseload, they also tend to have less time than criminal defense lawyers, meaning that they will not be able to pay as much attention to your case.
Though criminal defense lawyers cost money, their ability to help you avoid jail time and excessive fines make them worth the price. In fact, you may pay more if the courts find you guilty, as there are often financial penalties incurred from some crimes. Usually, a criminal defense lawyer will be able to devote much more time and attention to your case than a public defender. They have fewer clients than public defenders, and they work hard to earn their costs. Criminal defense lawyers also usually have more resources and should be able to hire expert witnesses or private investigators who could be vital for your case.
Criminal defense lawyers are also far easier to contact. It may take public defenders a while to respond to a phone call, but criminal defense lawyers will be able to prioritize your call and get back to you sooner.
Award-winning Corona criminal lawyer Graham Donath started his legal career as a Deputy Public Defender in Riverside County, where he was named Misdemeanor Trial Attorney of the Year. Since opening his own practice, he’s repeatedly named a “Top 100 Trial Attorney” in Southern California. by the National Trial Lawyers Association and is one of a few recognized as a Certified Specialist in defense law under the California State Bar Board. Who you hire to defend you makes all the difference in criminal courts- schedule your free meeting with The Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC today to see how he may help you.
Possible Criminal Charges
Domestic Abuse. In California, domestic battery is one of the most common domestic violence charges people experience. California’s domestic violence law states that any unlawful touching that is aggressive or harmful is domestic violence if done against:
- The accused person’s spouse or former spouse
- The accused person’s living partner or former living partner
- The accused person’s finance or former finance
- A person that the accused person is dating or has dated
- The father or mother of the accused person’s child
Even if the victim is not physically injured, any aggressive force or violence against him or her is a legally domestic battery. Courts can penalize someone with a fine up to $2,000 or up to one year in county jail. If police charge you with domestic violence of any form, it is in your best interest to hire a domestic violence attorney to defend you.
- Sexual Assault Defense. There are many different types of sexual assault charges. Unlawful or unwanted sexual touching, abuse, or reveal are all forms of sexual assault. Arguably the least severe type of sexual assault is indecent exposure. Indecent exposure is when someone exposes his or her genitals to another person in an effort to intimidate, arouse, or insult. If the exposure leads to physical contact, it is no longer just indecent exposure and could be direct sexual assault. Indecent exposure usually only leads to a misdemeanor for a first-time offender.
- Prostitution is also illegal in California. Prostitution is when one person engages in sexual acts with another person for some type of compensation. The police can charge both the person prostituting him or herself and the person receiving the sexual act with a crime.
- Rape is when someone engages in sexual assault against the wishes of the other person. Under California law, there are many circumstances that would be rape:
- The victim was unable to consent because of age, intoxication, or developmental ability.
- The victim was unconscious and unaware of the sexual act occurring.
- The victim engaged in the act out of fear of danger or harm from the other person.
- The person forcing the act was used threats or intimidation for “consent.”
- The person forcing the act convinced the other person through lies.
- Statutory rape is when someone has sex with another person who is under the age of 18. The court does not take mutual agreement into account for statutory rape. If the person is under the age of 18, he or she is not legally able to consent to the act.
- Child pornography is another type of sexual assault. In California, child pornography is the distribution of sexual images or video of someone who is under the age of 18. Exploiting a minor sexually can lead to large fines or time in prison. Because many teenagers unwittingly engage in “sexting,” the law here can become complicated.
If the police charge you with sexual assault of any kind, it is imperative that you find an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you.
Violent crimes are serious charges that can affect someone’s life permanently. The impact can also extend to his or her family and friends. They are serious cases that can be extremely difficult to defend. Violent crimes attorney, Graham D. Donath, can offer exceptional representation for any violent crime including:
- Criminal threats
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Gang participation
- Mayhem (intentionally injuring or disfiguring someone)
- Domestic violence
Each violent crime involves varying situations that can be difficult for the police or courts to understand and explain. The crimes themselves are not complicated, but the complex circumstances that surround them may be. An experienced Corona criminal defense attorney can help you navigate these difficult circumstances and understand your best chance at success in the courtroom.
Types of Criminal Defenses
In criminal cases, there are a large range of possible defenses. Each case is unique, and no one defense will work across the board. In our practice, there are certain possibilities that may work in your criminal case.
- Mental Disorder. Some criminal defense attorneys will argue the person has a mental disorder. A mental disorder could explain the act, as the person does not have the ability to reason things out like the average person can. Many attorneys will explain that the defendant did not fully understand the gravity of his or her actions. A successful mental disorder defense may result in release and documented therapy, jail time in conjunction with therapy, or time in a mental institution, among other possible scenarios.
- Automatism. Automatism is a situation where a person’s body begins to act without the mind having any power over it. A person may fall into a dream-like state where he or she loses control of their physical actions. To use an automatism defense, the defendant must have been without any voluntary control. Such a defense is unusual, but, in some situations, it is apt.
- Intoxication. In some places, arguing that the defendant was severely drunk may be a strong enough defense to rid the person of charges. The argument could be that the intoxicated state removed accused’s ability to have any type of specific intent, implying the person did not intend to commit a crime. However, intoxication is rarely a strong enough defense, as the prosecutor could make the argument that if the defendant committed the crime while drunk, he or she still had a subconscious intent that would drive them to do it.
- Mistake of Fact. This defense comes from any mistake someone made in the process that is not an error of law. Mistake of fact is rarely effective when used on its own. Defense attorneys may use mistake of fact as a reason alongside another defense to strengthen the sentiment that the defendant should not be condemned.
- Necessity. Some defense attorneys will argue the doctrine of necessity. Using necessity as a defense would mean the defendant was preventing some other, far worse crime from taking place by committing this crime. The necessity defense would work with trespassing, for example, if the defendant trespassed on someone’s property to stop a thief from escaping.
- Lawful Capacity of Office. The lawful capacity of office is a defense that attorneys usually reserve for law enforcers or medical professionals who the police may have accused of wrong-doing. If the defendants needed to break a law to do a job, they could use lawful capacity of office as their defense.
- Self-Defense. Self-defense is one of the most common defenses that defense attorneys use for criminal cases. Someone was acting in self-defense if he or she was trying to protect him or herself from serious injury. If a defendant was acting in self-defense, the authorities can’t take action because the behavior it is not illegal.
- Duress. Defense attorneys use duress as a defense when someone forces the defendant into committing the crime. Duress is not effective with crimes such as murder, attempted murder, being an accessory to murder, or, in some countries, treason. The person in duress must have been experiencing an immediate threat of death or serious danger. Threats to people other than the defendant and his or her attacker may be included as a legitimate reason to act under duress.
Information on the Corona Courthouse
The courts usually hold traffic cases at the Corona Courthouse in Corona, California. Judges usually hear all other cases at the Riverside Hall of Justice in Riverside, California. Both courthouses are open from 7:30 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon. The Corona Courthouse has public parking, and the Riverside Hall of Justice has metered parking available.
If the authorities have accused you of a serious crime and you need a Corona criminal defense lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC. Our attorneys are widely and deeply experienced in California criminal law. We will represent you aggressively and use all of our resources to provide the best criminal defense possible. Here is what our past clients have to say.